Westcliff High School for Girls

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About Westcliff High School for Girls

Name Westcliff High School for Girls
Website http://www.whsg.info
Ofsted Inspections
Headteacher Mrs Emma Matthews
Address Kenilworth Gardens, Westcliff-on-Sea, SS0 0BS
Phone Number 01702476026
Phase Academy
Type Academy converter
Age Range 11-18
Religious Character None
Gender Girls
Number of Pupils 1333
Local Authority Southend-on-Sea
Highlights from Latest Inspection

What is it like to attend this school?

Pupils' exemplary behaviour and positive attitudes to learning reflect leaders' high expectations. They show respect for each other and for staff.

The welcome given to visitors, including in pupils' willingness to share their learning, is impressive. Should any pupil, on rare occasions, need support to improve their behaviour, the school is quick to provide it.

New pupils settle in quickly.

Pupils in Year 7 speak with pride and excitement about their school. Students who join in the sixth form rapidly develop a sense of belonging. They are confident and well-integrated into the school's community.

Pupils learn to stay safe and to make safe choices. T...hey are safe in school.

Pupils are very well prepared for life beyond the school.

The curriculum includes important preparation for their next stages in education, employment and/or training. This high-quality support sets pupils and students up extremely well as they move on at the end of Year 11 or Year 13.

The vast array of lunchtime clubs and extra-curricular activities has something for everyone.

Many pupils take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Others enjoy, for example, debating, engineering and knitting clubs. Pupils and sixth-form students routinely make a significant contribution to school life acting as role models and leaders.

What does the school do well and what does it need to do better?

High aspirations and a deep-rooted ambition for pupils to excel are embedded throughout the school. The provision extends way beyond the national curriculum and examination expectations. Pupils access a wide range of subjects across year groups, including in the sixth form.

The school and the trust has reviewed, refreshed and redesigned the curriculum. Across subjects, learning is sequenced in a logical order. Important 'golden threads' of knowledge are revisited regularly.

Therefore, new content builds securely on what pupils and students already know. As a result, they remember the things they are taught and can apply them in different situations. Pupils enjoy opportunities to discuss and debate each other's viewpoint.

Teachers ask probing questions to deepen learning. Regular checks ensure that any gaps in pupils' understanding are resolved quickly. Pupils know what they need to do to improve their work.

Consistently well-planned programmes capture pupils' interests and enthusiasm. Pupils and students in the sixth form achieve very well. Teachers work closely with the school's special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO).

They make effective adaptations to lessons and provide thoughtful individual support. Consequently, pupils with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND) routinely achieve as well as others.

Pupils and students are encouraged to read widely for pleasure and to enhance their subject-based studies.

The school's impressive library is well used. The exceptionally wide range of books covers many different themes. For example, equality, diversity and celebrating individual differences.

Pupils use the helpful subject-specific book lists to broaden their reading beyond the classroom.

High standards of behaviour are evident in lessons and at social times. The very rare cases where pupils' behaviour falls short of expectations are managed well.

Attitudes to learning are exemplary. Attendance rates are high. Pupils are highly motivated and almost exclusively display positive attitudes.

They work hard and contribute well to the school community.

The personal, social, health and economic education (PSHE) curriculum is carefully planned. Themed assemblies support taught sessions and tutorials, for example, through topics linked to inclusion and equality.

Pupils and sixth-form students confidently lead assemblies. They value the school's diversity. In their words, 'Everyone is included.'

Pupils have clear aspirations for the future. They are well supported to achieve their ambitious aims. All year groups take part in a well-considered programme of careers education.

Regular visiting speakers offer insights into business, industry and higher education. Many students progress to university and other appropriate routes such as higher-level apprenticeships.

Pupils' wider development is well catered for.

This includes through the extensive opportunities for leadership roles. Pupils with SEND take on similar responsibilities to their peers. Sixth-form students and younger pupils run lunchtime clubs.

Those studying engineering in Year 11 and Year 12, for example, inspire others when speaking about the student-built racing car. They also lead various clubs linked to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Staff continue to improve their practice through effective training opportunities.

This focus on continuous improvement is well established at all levels. The trust, local governing body and school leaders have an accurate understanding of the quality of education. They are considerate of staff workload when making changes.

Parents value the positive relationships that exist. The strategies to share information about the school's work are checked regularly to ensure that they are effective.


The arrangements for safeguarding are effective.

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